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September 10, 2015

MADIGAN: FORMER DHS WORKER PLEADS GUILTY TO CHARGES OF THEFT, OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a former Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) caseworker pleaded guilty to charges of theft and official misconduct for stealing more than $114,000 in assistance for needy families.

Mary Hurst, 50, of Steeleville, was sentenced today in Randolph County Criminal Court after pleading guilty to one count of theft of more than $100,000, five counts of wire fraud and six counts of official misconduct. Hurst was sentenced to 30 months of probation and ordered to pay $114,819 in restitution.

According to Madigan, when Hurst was an IDHS caseworker at the Randolph County Family Community Resource Center, she created four fictitious clients and issued herself LINK cards loaded with state funds in those names. Hurst then used the fake accounts to make withdrawals at various ATMs from 2012 to 2015. In total, Madigan alleged Hurst misappropriated $114,819 in state funds earmarked for families in need for personal profit.

“Instead of doing her job, the defendant stole public resources that were intended to provide essential services to our state’s most vulnerable families,” said Madigan. “I will continue to ensure that the state’s limited resources are protected and that those who steal from the state are held responsible for their crimes.”

Assistant Attorney General Kilby MacFadden and Associate Director James S. Dorger are handling the case for Madigan’s Public Integrity Bureau. The Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois State Police and the Office of the Executive Inspector General assisted in the case.

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